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O'erwhelm'd with killing anguish,
In iron cage, forlorn,

I see my poor babes languish :

I hear their mother mourn!

"O Liberty! inspire me,
And eagle-strength supply!
Thou, Love almighty! fire me!
I'll burst my prison or die!"
He sung, and forward bounded;
He broke the yielding door!
But, with the shock confounded,
Fell, lifeless, on the floor!

Farewell, then, Philomela :
Poor martyr'd bird! adieu!
There's one, my charming fellow!
Who thinks, who feels, like you :
The bard that pens thy story,
Amidst a prison's gloom,

Sighs not for wealth nor glory,
-But freedom, or thy tomb!

February 12, 1796.


HAIL! resplendent Evening Star! Brightly beaming from afar; Fairest gem of purest light

In the diadem of night.

Now thy mild and modest ray Lights to rest the weary day; While the lustre of thine eye Sweetly trembles through the sky; As the closing shadows roll Deep and deeper round the pole, Lo! thy kindling legions bright Steal insensibly to light; Till, magnificent and clear, Shines the spangled hemisphere.

In these calmly pleasing hours, When the soul expands her powers, And, on wings of contemplation, Ranges round the vast creation; When the mind's immortal eye Bounds, with rapture, to the sky, And, in one triumphant glance, Comprehends the wide expanse,

Where stars, and suns, and systems shine,
Faint beams of MAJESTY DIVINE ;-

Now, when visionary sleep
Lulls the world in slumbers deep;
When silence, awfully profound,
Breathes solemn inspiration round;
Queen of Beauty! queen of stars!
Smile upon these frowning bars,
Softly sliding from thy sphere,
Condescend to visit here.


In the circle of this cell,
No tormenting demons dwell;
Round these walls in wild despair,
No agonizing spectres glare:
Here reside no furies gaunt;
No tumultuous passions haunt;
Fell revenge, nor treachery base;
Guilt, with bold unblushing face;
Pale remorse, within whose breast
Scorpion-horrors murder rest;
Coward malice, hatred dire,
Lawless rapine, dark desire;
Pining envy, frantic ire;
Never, never dare intrude
On this pensive solitude:
-But a sorely-hunted deer
Finds a sad asylum here;
One, whose panting sides have been
Pierced with many an arrow keen;

One, whose deeply-wounded heart
Bears the scars of many a dart.
In the herd he vainly mingled;
From the herd, when harshly singled,
Too proud to fly, he scorn'd to yield;
Too weak to fight, he lost the field;
Assail'd, and captive led away,
He fell a poor, inglorious prey.

Deign then, gentle Star! to shed
Thy soft lustre round mine head;
With cheering radiance gild the room,
And melt the melancholy gloom.
When I see thee, from thy sphere,
Trembling like a brilliant tear,
Shed a sympathizing ray
On the pale expiring day,
Then a welcome emanation
Of reviving consolation,

Swifter than the lightning's dart,
Glances through my glowing heart;
Soothes my sorrows, lulls my woes,
In a soft, serene repose.
Like the undulating motion
Of the deep, majestic ocean,

When the whispering billows glide
Smooth along the tranquil tide;
Calmly thus, prepared, resign'd,
Swells the independent mind.

But when through clouds thy beauteous light

Streams, in splendor, on the night,
Hope, like thee, my leading star,
Through the sullen gloom of care,
Sheds an animating ray

On the dark, bewildering way.
Starting, then, with sweet surprise,
Tears of transport swell mine eyes;
Wildly through each throbbing vein,
Rapture thrills with pleasing pain;
All my fretful fears are banish'd,
All my dreams of anguish vanish'd;
Energy my soul inspires,

And wakes the Muse's hallow'd fires;
Rich in melody, my tongue

Warbles forth spontaneous song.

Thus my prison moments gay,
Swiftly, sweetly, glide away;
Till the last long day declining,
O'er yon tower thy glory shining,
Shall the welcome signal be
Of to-morrow's liberty!
Liberty, triumphant borne
On the rosy wings of morn,
Liberty shall then return!

Rise to set the captive free: Rise, O sun of Liberty!

February 29, 1796.

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